It’s Time To Let Evidence Dominate The Diet Discussion

By Dylan MacKay

Two of the most well-known American food journalists have been telling readers lately that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and Mediterranean diets are not tops for our health. But hang on, the evidence tells a different story.

The journalists are Gary Taubes, the author of The Case Against Sugar, and Nina Teicholz, the author of the bestselling, The Big Fat Surprise. In their recent LA Timesarticle, they accuse the U.S. News and World Report of presenting the failed nutritional status quo in their January cover story on “best diets,” where the DASH and Mediterranean diets are tied as best diets overall.

Both the DASH and Mediterranean diets promote the consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and both diets recommend lower intakes of red meat and saturated fat. In the realm of human nutritional sciences, both of these diets are two of the most well respected, which is why they ended up on the top of U.S. News and World Report list, based on clear criteria which was published.

Yet, ironically, one of the first claims from Teicholz and Taubes is that both diets do not have enough evidence showing they reduce overall mortality, and they dismiss supporting studies of these diets as being flawed. They also assert that dietary guidelines around the world, which largely have promoted dietary patterns similar to DASH or Mediterranean diets, are responsible for our current epidemic of obesity and its comorbidity, type 2 diabetes.

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